On March 21, 2020, a National Park Ranger, undeservedly and senselessly shot and killed our beloved son, brother, and best friend, Charles “Gage” Lorentz, in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM. Gage had his entire life ahead of him, and this law enforcement officer stole it in a matter of seconds. He also stole one of the best parts of us that day.
Gage was a genuine, country raised young man that had a heart of gold. He was hardworking and dedicated. His world was his family and the Colorado landscape where we raised him on the Western Slope. Gage was mechanical. He could fix anything. He was the first one to stop, turn around and offer help, if you were broken down on the side of the road. He dreamed of running an organization one day like the Boys and Girls Club of America where he and other mentors would teach young people to hunt and fish. Gage was a good, loyal friend.
Gage’s father, Travis, has lost his only child - his pride and joy and the fabric of his eternal being. I have lost my only son, my one and only. Gage’s sisters have lost their only brother. And Gage’s youngest sister has lost her best friend for life. Gage was her mentor and she trusted him with every ounce of her heart and soul, something she will never be able to replace.
We have all lost our laughter, our comforter, and our peacekeeper - who always had the encouraging words to settle disagreements and bring us all back to center. We will never be able to witness him walking down the aisle nor embrace any grandchildren.
On the day that this ranger shockingly and unnecessarily killed our son, he was returning home from working on the oil rigs in Texas. We had all spoken to Gage the morning of his death while he was on his way home. We were so excited to see him. And he could not wait to be back home and spend some quality time with his family, which he did every chance he had.
Our son should still be alive. There is NO evidence Gage posed any threat to the ranger. Gage’s toxicology report shows NO drugs and NO alcohol. Gage had NO weapons. This ranger brought the fight to our son when he deployed his Taser X2 into Gage’s chest and then approached him to use his Taser X2 as a cattle prod on Gage’s body. Gage tried to defend himself when he was brutally shot - not once, but twice, which resulted in his death. This ranger had absolutely no reason to use deadly force on Gage - he cold-heartedly murdered our son.
Our family has suffered a tremendous loss. We have started this go-fund me to request support from our friends, family, community and any other’s that have the ability – to assist with unexpected costs incurred during this time of seeking legal justice for our son and to help with covering outstanding debts from his estate. Any donation, in any amount, will be greatly appreciated during this challenging time.
We will continue to seek justice for Gage. Our story is living testimony that law enforcement needs to be transformed and taken back to the roots of “to serve and protect.” We will continue to be a voice for law enforcement reform and make every attempt to prevent any other family from having to experience such a tragedy. No family should ever have to endure the pain of losing a loved one.
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